West Yorkshire Police commissioner in pledge not to pay celebrities to front campaigns

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Christa Ackroyd Christa Ackroyd

Former BBC news reader Christa Ackroyd was paid £1,000 to appear at a West Yorkshire Police ceremony celebrating the force’s street-level heroes, it has been revealed.

But the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, has vowed that no celebrities will be paid to front awards ceremonies while he is in charge.

The Bradford-born TV presenter, who was reportedly earning £200,000 a year with the Corporation before she left in the summer, received the money from the organisers of the force’s Excel Awards in March last year.

The awards celebrate employees who had gone above and beyond the call of duty. Her fee was paid by sponsors.

Her name was among those of television presenters, former sports stars and actors who were recruited by police around the country to front safety campaigns and attend awards nights.

The list, obtained using the Freedom of Information Act, showed police forces paid nearly £30,000 to hire the celebrities, although many of the fees were covered by sponsorship.

Mr Burns-Williamson said the annual Excel awards didn’t cost the taxpayer anything as they were covered by sponsorship, and that the cost of holding them was dropping year-by-year.

He said: “The costs will continue to reduce and the emphasis on this event should continue to be about celebrating the achievements of our police staff and officers.

“The sponsorship payment for comperes have not been made since my election and there will not be support for the payment of celebrities for awards while I am Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire."

Councillor Imran Hussain, deputy leader of Bradford Council, who also sits on the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, said he could not comment on Miss Ackroyd's payment because he had not seen the full facts and figures but as a general principle he said all police funding had to be spent in the best way possible.

He said: “These are very difficult times where frontline policing is being affected and police force finances are facing big cuts so it is clear wherever possible the police should try to make sure where money is spent that it is spent in the best possible way to serve the public.”

Miss Ackroyd was also one of several celebrities hired by South Yorkshire Police. Fellow BBC presenter Harry Gration was used seven times by the South Yorkshire force between 2007 and July this year but the force said it was not able to provide costs, saying they were covered by sponsors.

A total of 42 police forces were asked for information contacted as part of an investigation by the Press Association. Nine refused to give details due to time restrictions and another 25 forces said they had no evidence of them making payments to celebrities.

Total payments made by the police forces which replied to the information request came to £28,687.20.

Comments (9)

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9:56am Mon 30 Dec 13

MontyLeMar says...

Poor Christa, not been a good year. But something tells me that out of all the A, B, C and D list celebrities available, she would have provided a thoroughly professional service. Not her fault that the BBC suddenly decided that it didn't want superstars in the studio after going out of their way to entice her from Calendar with a megabucks offer. Ah well, c'est la vie, good while it lasted I'm sure. I'm also sure she's just getting on with her life again. Look North is just a little bit more boring since she left.
Poor Christa, not been a good year. But something tells me that out of all the A, B, C and D list celebrities available, she would have provided a thoroughly professional service. Not her fault that the BBC suddenly decided that it didn't want superstars in the studio after going out of their way to entice her from Calendar with a megabucks offer. Ah well, c'est la vie, good while it lasted I'm sure. I'm also sure she's just getting on with her life again. Look North is just a little bit more boring since she left. MontyLeMar

9:58am Mon 30 Dec 13

RollandSmoke says...

And who are the sponsors? As it is the job of a newscaster to cast impartially on police actions I could see a conflict of interests if a serving newscaster were receiving payments. Which lodge was the event held at? Was there a goat involved?
And who are the sponsors? As it is the job of a newscaster to cast impartially on police actions I could see a conflict of interests if a serving newscaster were receiving payments. Which lodge was the event held at? Was there a goat involved? RollandSmoke

10:54am Mon 30 Dec 13

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

MontyLeMar wrote:
Poor Christa, not been a good year. But something tells me that out of all the A, B, C and D list celebrities available, she would have provided a thoroughly professional service. Not her fault that the BBC suddenly decided that it didn't want superstars in the studio after going out of their way to entice her from Calendar with a megabucks offer. Ah well, c'est la vie, good while it lasted I'm sure. I'm also sure she's just getting on with her life again. Look North is just a little bit more boring since she left.
Only now we don't have anyone to laugh at.

"do you know who I am" oh please you old harridan.
[quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: Poor Christa, not been a good year. But something tells me that out of all the A, B, C and D list celebrities available, she would have provided a thoroughly professional service. Not her fault that the BBC suddenly decided that it didn't want superstars in the studio after going out of their way to entice her from Calendar with a megabucks offer. Ah well, c'est la vie, good while it lasted I'm sure. I'm also sure she's just getting on with her life again. Look North is just a little bit more boring since she left.[/p][/quote]Only now we don't have anyone to laugh at. "do you know who I am" oh please you old harridan. Prisoner Cell Block A

12:15pm Mon 30 Dec 13

linebacker2 says...

Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k.

As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?
Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k. As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same? linebacker2

12:32pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Andy2010 says...

linebacker2 wrote:
Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k.

As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?
Bet she didnt.

I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing
[quote][p][bold]linebacker2[/bold] wrote: Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k. As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?[/p][/quote]Bet she didnt. I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing Andy2010

12:44pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Prisoner Cell Block A says...

Andy2010 wrote:
linebacker2 wrote:
Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k.

As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?
Bet she didnt.

I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing
I'll bet she didn't either. Vile woman.

Opening a village fete near you this summer.

Judging Easter bonnet competitions.

Still pretending she is someone.
[quote][p][bold]Andy2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]linebacker2[/bold] wrote: Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k. As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?[/p][/quote]Bet she didnt. I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing[/p][/quote]I'll bet she didn't either. Vile woman. Opening a village fete near you this summer. Judging Easter bonnet competitions. Still pretending she is someone. Prisoner Cell Block A

1:17pm Mon 30 Dec 13

linebacker2 says...

Andy2010 wrote:
linebacker2 wrote:
Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k.

As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?
Bet she didnt.

I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing
Sounds like you might want to stay in that B&B up in the hills that she runs :-)
[quote][p][bold]Andy2010[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]linebacker2[/bold] wrote: Look North's better without Ms Ackroyd, apparently here replacement's on £40k instead of £200k. As for the the appearance fee with the polce, Jack Charlton waived his fee and gave it to charity - I'm assuming Christa did the same?[/p][/quote]Bet she didnt. I detest this woman with a passion. Thank god she is now off the TV and faded into nothing[/p][/quote]Sounds like you might want to stay in that B&B up in the hills that she runs :-) linebacker2

1:36pm Mon 30 Dec 13

yezboss says...

West Yorkshire Police have been directly paying and wasting money, which should and could have been better spent elsewhere, on certain celebrities for years for various services especially in training functions. Totally unnecessary in my view.
West Yorkshire Police have been directly paying and wasting money, which should and could have been better spent elsewhere, on certain celebrities for years for various services especially in training functions. Totally unnecessary in my view. yezboss

8:45pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Auntyarrogance says...

Hang on a minute, wasn't commissioner Burns - Williamson the chair of the police authority when this was happening. Wasn't he quaffing the champaign with Ackroyd, Gration and Bettison ? In fact wasn't Chief Constable Gilmord at a few of these bashes as well when he was working for Bettison. How many times has Look North presenters actually been paid to do this awards thing, just the once? Really?
Hang on a minute, wasn't commissioner Burns - Williamson the chair of the police authority when this was happening. Wasn't he quaffing the champaign with Ackroyd, Gration and Bettison ? In fact wasn't Chief Constable Gilmord at a few of these bashes as well when he was working for Bettison. How many times has Look North presenters actually been paid to do this awards thing, just the once? Really? Auntyarrogance

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